Southern Fried Sushi by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Reviewed by Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Shiloh Jacobs is loving her life! She’s an up and coming writer with the Associated Press. She’s living in Tokyo, Japan, a city that has become home to her. She has entertaining friends and it seems the world is her oyster. Her life takes a drastic turn when she learns of her distant mother’s death in Virginia. She suddenly finds herself immersed in a culture that is so foreign she can barely keep up. She’s overwhelmed by the people, the language, the food, and the lifestyle.
When Shiloh wings her way to Virginia she would never have dreamed, in her worst nightmare, that she wouldn’t be returning to Tokyo. She was going to attend her mother’s funeral and then head right back to her demanding job, her handsome fiancé, and the culture she knows best. One poor decision finds her jobless, a series of poor decision finds her penniless, a bad choice in men finds her single, and a dysfunctional childhood finds her basically without friends. In short, she hits even further than the bottom.
To her surprise at the bottom she finds new friends who love her unconditionally and who have a faith she’s never encountered before. She also learns that the somewhat abusive mother of her childhood had drastically changed her life for the better. As she continues to learn more about the mom she didn’t know and come face to face with people who live out their faith in word and deed she begins to ask questions and seek the God of her friends. What she finds will warm your heart, surprise you, and touch your emotions.
LOVE! I loved this book. For a girl who typically prefers historical novels I was engrossed in this contemporary read immediately. Spinola writes with beautiful color and detail. You will find yourself transported to Japan and you’ll feel the culture shock that Shiloh feels upon her entry to Virginia. Staunton, VA is the setting and I had to laugh because I lived in that town for 3 years in my early teens. Our whole family moved from Wisconsin to Virginia and believe me we experienced the culture shock of the south. I could taste the food, hear the accents, and see the sights. For me that made this already special book even that much more special and real.
Whether you’re from Japan, Virginia, or Oregon you will love this book. It has all the components of a great book and they all come together to make a very special novel. Props to Spinola, she’s earned a new fan!
Rated PG-13 for adult content
Thanks to Babour Publishing for providing this book in exchange for my review!